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Whale Sharks and Wellness Bring Visitors to CancunJune 9, 2015 By: Ana Figueroa
Summer brings its own particular brand of adventure to Mexico’s Caribbean coast.
“Right now, we have a focus on the whale shark. Isla Holbox is the capital or the main point for whale shark tours. It’s also a real nice Caribbean rustic island. You can get the tours from Isla Mujeres or Cancun, but the experience is something more complete from Holbox,” Jesus Almaguer, CEO of the Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau, tells Travel Agent.
Casa Las Tortugas, a boutique eco-property on Holbox Island, is promoting whale shark swims, kitesurf lessons and other activities this summer. But it is also reaching out to those looking for serenity and relaxation.
A new five-day Eat, Love & Yoga package includes a standard room for two; half-board (daily breakfast and lunch); four individual morning yoga sessions and one spa treatment at its Agua Spa and Yoga Center.
Casa Las Tortugas’ organic restaurant, Mandarina, uses produce and herbs from the hotel’s own farm. Fresh fruit is sourced directly from the island and seafood comes in daily from local fishermen.
"We find that guests who are drawn to Isla Holbox for its natural beauty are also drawn to health and wellness," property spokesperson Jane Lerman tells Travel Agent.
"This is an island with virtually no cars and abundant wildlife, so health and wellness are a natural fit. In addition to the Eat, Love & Yoga package, daily complimentary yoga classes are also very popular. The yoga classes are available Monday through Saturday,” said Lerman.
The emphasis on wellness continues to influence larger brand offerings as well.
AMResorts expanded its luxury wellness footprint six months ago, with the launching of Zoëtry Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres. Its AAA Five Diamond Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya introduced certified Thalassotherapy to the region some years back.
Now Palace Resorts is marketing to the wellness-conscious.
They’ve launched a new wellness concept at their signature property, Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort. It’s available to guests in the 19 newly-renovated "Palace Wellness Suites.” The swim-up accommodations are located in the Sunrise section of the property. Among other perks, guests are offered aqua-spinning classes with a private instructor.
The Wellness Suites feature aromatherapy, herbal teas, hydrotherapy salts and natural soaps. They’re also stocked with an "Awe Sports Kit," which includes a yoga mat, jump rope and dumbbells. Minibars feature vitamin-infused beverages and juices. And a menu of heart healthy and gluten-free meals is available around-the-clock via complimentary room service.
“We like to offer a variety of experiences to meet the interests and needs of our guests. In today’s environment, more people are concerned with staying healthy, eating right and being active. That’s why we developed the Wellness Suites. We’re focusing on health and fitness. We have instructors that can offer guidance about what to eat and how to exercise,” Frank Corzo, vice president of U.S. field sales for Palace Resorts, tells Travel Agent.
Thus far, the program has generated so much positive feedback that Palace Resorts may extend it to other properties.
“On the other hand, if you just want to come to have a good time during the summer, that’s fine with us too,” said Corzo.